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Consumerism And The Environment Essay Writing

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Consumerism And The Environment Essay Writing

Consumerism And The Environment Essay Writing

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Essay about Consumerism and the Environment - 1543 Words

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The Effects of Consumerism on the Environment - Essay Depot

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FREE ESSAYS FOR STUDENT: Consumerism

Consumerism is a critical subject that has attracted a lot of debate since mid-20 th century. A number of scholars have sought to dissect the issue to enable them relate the attitudes of global consumers towards the subject. However, the debate and studies on consumerism has been biased as it fails to incorporate the developments in developing economies i.e. those in the Middle East and Africa. Developing economies are experiencing a rapid growth of consumerism and any research undertaken needs to ensure that it incorporates materials from the aforementioned continents. 21 st century has witnessed a rapid change in the consumption pattern of consumers. Human beings have moved away from the consumption of basic commodities to consume other wants i.e. those intended to make living better. These human wants are often luxury items that seek to enhance efficiency and create classes in the society. In the past decade for example, individuals only acquired resources that were basic needs i.e. food shelter and clothing. The new habit of increasing the intake of commodities beyond the basic need portion has both the positives and the negatives. On the positive side, increased consumption of commodities is health to both individual and a country economy. In individual level, it makes live a little enjoyable by making it easier and efficient to live. To the general economy, it increases the revenues generated to the state i.e. the gross domestic product (Khalis, 2010). However, despite the aforementioned advantages, consumerism has quite a number of catastrophic effects to humanity. This essay seeks to examine the causes and effects of consumerism to the environment. In addition, it looks to evaluate how governments and other responsible bodies are doing to protect the environment.

The term consumerism has no distinct definition. According to Orel (2011). consumerism is a movement that advocates and defends the rights of buyers to avert undue exploitation by sellers. The scholar further asserts that consumer powers need to be protected to ensure that the marketing antics of sellers and other marketers do not expose buyers to undue consumption. Buyers are often influenced by advertisements to increase their intake levels. To meet the ever rising demand of commodities, sellers and other producers will fully exploit the available resources in the economy. This move poses acute problems to the environment.

Urban and regional planners assert that a high consuming economy requires land of up to six hectares to meet the consumption and intake levels of a person. However, that is not feasible given the ever growing population. This therefore implies that an extra intake or an increase in consumption comes with an additional cost. Rigid human culture is largely attributed to the increased levels of human consumption. As nations seek to outdo themselves economically by encouraging consumption, environment is largely sacrificed. For example, most citizens are owning oil or gas powered machines. These machines emit greenhouse cases i.e. carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. These greenhouse gases often cause irreversible damage to the climate (Baiocchi, Minx, & Hubacek, 2010).

Consumerism is a lifestyle changing phenomena and its effects to global climate are acute. For example, greenhouse emission otherwise known as lifestyle emissions are released directly to the environment from domestic heating or using or indirectly through the supply chain where goods and services consumed are produced (Baiocchi, Minx, & Hubacek, 2010).

The cardinal principle behind consumerism is the need to make daily living bearable and desirable. To meet this principle, consumers tend to search for avenues where they are able to harness fully the advantages of increased consumption. To increase this satisfaction, beings tend to migrate to locations where the products can be accessed with much ease, here, urban areas is often their best bet. Massive exodus of people from the rural areas to urban areas is in the rise. Urban centers are often well endowed with infrastructures and other amenities that may not be found in rural setups. In addition, with the increased levels of consumptions, individuals are looking for locations where they can increase their income levels and towns come in handy. Migration congests towns and cities. Rapid migration of persons and subsequent urbanization in developing economies has caused quite a number of environmental problems i.e. the pollution of water and air (Orel, 2011).

The urge to consume resources beyond required levels affect the environment in a number of ways. First, Cities and towns are the first casualties as increased levels of migrants pollute water. Most of these cities lack adequate sewerage systems that can stand the requirements of rapidly increasing populations. The inadequacy of these basic requirements often results from bad planning, corruption or insufficient funds. Despite the primary objective of immigrants, such environs expose them to health problems. Secondly, concentration of individuals in a given location pollutes the air. Air is polluted because of the increased levels of human activity that emits greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. Some of these human activities include heating, powering of supply chain machines using oil or using coal. Once these particles are emitted to the air, they not only degrade the environment but are also a health hazard. According to Orel (2011). in most third world economies, gases emitted by supply chain machines are responsible for the 1.6 million deaths who succumb to respiratory illnesses. Hence, consumers who reside in urban areas are a vulnerable lot as they are exposed to these gases on a daily basis. Lastly another environmental problem that is largely associated with consumerism is noise pollution. The increased demand levels for goods and services encourage the sprouting of firms. In addition, consumers who are out to improve their living standards purchase cars. In the past decade, developing economies have been experiencing increased levels of automobiles due to increased levels of investment. Therefore, these manufacturing machines together with increased number of vehicles are responsible for noise pollution. From the aforementioned, it is apparent that governments in developing economies are unable to formulate sound policies to ensure clean environment.

Climate change has reached tipping point and is now a global issue. However, individual states have taken upon themselves to see that they contain its teething effects. For example, the United Kingdom (UK) government has incorporated the environment issues in its policy agenda. According to UK policy makers, technology employed in production together with consumer lifestyles need to be readjusted to ensure greenhouse gases i.e. carbon dioxide are kept at low levels. According to Baiocchi, Minx and Hubacek (2010). consumerism is responsible for up to 75 percent of consumer greenhouse gas emissions in the United Kingdom. It is therefore apparent that consumer choices are catastrophic to the environment. However, this is a blessing in disguise to the policy makers. This is because the pollutants of the environment have been narrowed down and it is evident that consumerism is a huge contributor. Therefore, the policy makers in the United Kingdom need to advance sound ways that will bring down the high figures to low levels.

In conclusion, it is evident from the above discussion that the effects of consumerism on the environment are huge. We see that consumer lifestyles are responsible for the emission of greenhouse gases to the environment. Considering that these emissions are related to consumer choices, governments need to formulate policies that will curb further emissions in the future. For example, they need to monitor the marketing strategies employed by competing firms to make sure that most consumers are not induced into purchasing what they can do without. On the other hand, governments need to advocate for corruption free society and increase funds directed towards the construction of sewerage systems in large towns and cities. The aforementioned will help minimize the levels of water pollution and reduce deaths related to the same. Another aspect evident in the discussion above is that demographic factors are responsible for environmental degradation in the 21 st century. Therefore it can as well be said that greenhouse gas emissions tend to increase with income. This implies that rich households pollute the environment more that the poor ones. This is crucial information to policy makers who are out to ensure environmental pollution is contained. Governments need to utilize the aforementioned information by working closely with high income households to bring down carbon emission. This will go a long way in ensuring that precious resources are preserved and environment is clean for humans. Finally, individual nations need to take responsibility of their environment. Given that each nation is able to contain its emissions to the environment, the world will be able to reduce drastically the catastrophic effects of climate change.

Baiocchi, G. Minx, J. & Hubacek, K. (2010). The impact of social factors and consumer behavior on carbon dioxide emissions in the United Kingdom. Journal of Industrial Ecology, 14 (1), 50-72.

Khalis, H. (2010). Urban enviromental problems in cities of the Kurdistan region in iraq. London: Taylor & Francis.

Orel, F. (2011). Business students' attitudes towards consumerism, marketing practices and governemnt regulations: A comparative study of poland and Turkey. International journal of Business and social science, 2 (19), 1-12.

Term Paper on The Effects of Consumerism on the Environment

The Effects of Consumerism on the Environment

We are at present in a situation where the planet’s ecology is not coping with all the pollution because of a huge,

continuously increasing, consumer demand. This excessive demand for consumer goods has created most of the current

ecological imbalances. These ecological imbalances will become a much greater problem than most people expect this

to be. These imbalances have already caused ecological disasters in different places all over the world, with many

This rate of consumption is increasing at an alarming rate. This will cause enormous ecological devastation in the

future, to the extent that around 2025, people will need to complete major changes in their lifestyles to avoid the

worst possible scenario.

The greenhouse gas effect is now so great that around 2015, the whole planet will experience the result of rising

temperatures in a far more severe way than most people will expect.

While most people have begun to notice that the climate is changing they may not have understood that these climate

changes are the forerunner of a much more serious problem. As a result most people are not altering their

lifestyles, reducing their ecological footprint, resulting in a further increase of the present ecological

With the continuing increase in environmental damage there will come a time where this will reach a point of no

return, whereby the planet will no longer be able to support its own functioning. It is expected that by the year

2025, the planet will no longer be able to cope with the severe ecological damage. This will mainly be caused due

to present geological stresses, further increase of global warming, and further destruction of the planet’s ecology

which is so needed by the planet to provide support for its overall functioning.

It is of benefit for people to look at how they live their life and what they can do to change their lifestyle, so

that an excessive.

Essay On Buddhism And The Consumerism

Essay on Buddhism and the Consumerism

Buddhism is one of five major religions in the contemporary world. In addition, it is one of the oldest religions in the world. Buddhism it not only a set of religious dogmas and regulations. It also contains practical knowledge and techniques which aim to make human life easier and help them reach the ultimate goal of al human beings – liberation. Stephanie Kaza in her book Hooked Buddhist Writings on Greed, Desire, and the Urge to Consume presents Buddhist perspective on the events which take place in the contemporary world. 17 outstanding Buddhist teachers share their experience in Buddhism and describe how Buddhist concepts can be applied in the contemporary society. We live in the age of material culture. People are preoccupied with the chase for material objects. In reality people since ancient ages are eagerly longing for happiness and unfortunately in our time people believe that they can reach happiness through the possession of material things. Contemporary society makes them even more confident in this illusion. Multiple advertisements create necessary associations in the minds of people. They believe that buying one or another good can make them happier. Advertisers create connections in the minds of people who watch advertisements. People see happy faces on the screen or other media and believe that the possession of the good advertized will result in the state of happiness.

In reality this association is wrong because happiness is inner state and it can not be influenced by external objects. This illusion is not obvious. Buddhists know about the illusion of material world, or Maya, since ancient times. In the Kaza’s book the most prominent Buddhists explain Buddhist vision of the problems in the contemporary society. People are constantly hooked by the advertisers who persuade them that things they advertize can make people become happier. Unfortunately, constant desire for material objects brings only disappointment. People feel empty and frustrated after they get material object they wanted so badly. The author of the book shows that advertisers and those, who sell goods are the only people who are satisfied in such situation. Human ability to seek satisfaction in material objects has multiple negative consequences. Not only people themselves are unhappy because they seek for the happiness in vain, but also our environment and social structure suffers because of the wrong understanding of our true needs and desires. The growing demand for goods results in overconsumption. People get more things than they need. Excessive production has negative impact on the environment and social structure. The age of consumerism can be explained from Buddhist position as the age of illusions created by our mind. Buddhism gives exact guidelines how to get out of these illusions.

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Free Sociology essays Consumerism

Consumerism is starting to be a big problem, because a lot of us buy things just to buy them, not because we need them. It is very bad for the environment that we are buying more things than we need. Every time we buy something we don’t need it impacts the environment negatively. Another problem whit consumerism is that the stores throw out a lot of food they can’t sell but the food is not that bad, so you can still eat it. All the food the stores can’t sell just end in the dumpster.

There are starting to be groups of people that try to stop the gigantic food waste, they take the good food from the stores dumpsters. The people that take food from the stores dumpsters are called freegans. The word freegans comes from free food and vegetarian. The freegans only eat food from the dumpsters, and they get more than enough food. The freegans gets so much food from the dumpsters that they can give some of the food to the people in the subway. The freegans are not homeless or poor people, some of the freegans are high educated, so the freegans don’t do it because of the money they save, they do it because they care about the environment. There are more and more people that live the freegan lifestyle, and it is no longer in the biggest cities there are freegans. Today there are freegans all over the USA that is because the increasing focus on the environment and more and more people want to help the environment.

A lot of non-freegans says that they would never eat food from a dumpster because you can never know how long the food had been in the dumpster, and there are a lot of bugs and bacterial in a dumpster. To this the freegans says that he had never been food poisoned as a freegan, but people pay money to go to a restaurant and then they get food poisoned.

There are also other ways you can live if you don’t want to be a freegan. The no impact man and his family tried live their lives so they have no impact on the environment a whole year. They only buy food from the season and only local food, and then it doesn’t have to be transported from somewhere long away. And then they have eaten the food, every single that could be composted was getting composted, for nothing should go to waste. Then they have to go from one place to another, then either walk or take the bicycle. They also stopped using the elevator, so now they only use the stairs. They didn’t use toilet paper that whole year, because toilet paper is bad for the environment. In their apartment they don’t use any form of electricity so they could not use the TV or their phones and because of that the family was forced to be more together, which they see as a good thing. Another thing they didn’t do was to buy new things. All the stuff they bought was second hand stuff, because when they buy second hand stuff, there don’t have to be a produced of new things, and that’s very good for the environment.

After living a year like this, they could feel some grains, they had lost weight, because of healthier food, they have become greener, saved money and got happier because of more family time. And because of all the good things they had expired, they now recommend it to everyone else. On their website they have a guide to be a no impact man, but the guide is a little more simply than the project they have lived for a whole year.

So these two groups are a good example of the situation we are in, the environment is getting worse and worse, but there are also more and more people that there are trying to do something about it.

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